Venturing into the unknown: Ex call centre agent now a successful logistics officer in UAE


Working abroad, for Rowella V. Despa, is like venturing into the unknown as the situation that was waiting for her was unfamiliar. It was never her dream to work abroad, however, it was already cast in the stone that she’d fulfill her dreams overseas. 

Working as a logistics officer for a company that specializes in the construction and repairs of post-tensioned and cable-stayed structures, Despa arrived in Dubai in 2006 but ventured to other countries in between. She worked in Singapore and had been assigned to work in Kuwait as well. 

Despa has initially worked as an admin assistant to her previous Australian manager during her first year in Dubai. “The highlight of my career, I would say, is being able to build my confidence and being able to communicate with people from all walks of life,” she added. 

For over 10 years, she has been employed in the construction and engineering industry although she is not an engineer. 

Prior to working overseas, she worked as a customer service representative. She describes it as a ‘not an easy job.’ In her few years working in a German company based in Cebu, her hard work was recognized and soon led to her promotion. 

As a logistics officer, Despa has to deal with the import and export transaction of her company not only inside the GCC but also across the world as well. 

“Dubai is a land of opportunity. What I like about Dubai is the convenience it brings to people. Locals show respect to the expatriates and vice versa. For a traveler like me, Dubai is a strategic place to fly to and from other neighboring countries,” she added. 

Part of her ultimate plan after retiring is to share what she experienced and learned while working abroad back in the Philippines and ‘to raise the standard for the future generations to follow.’ 

Motivated learner

Despa described herself as a person who is always motivated to learn new things even if it’s not related to her job or what she is currently doing. It recently manifested when she enrolled herself in the Filipino Institute during the pandemic when almost everyone was required to work from home. She finished the caregiver professional diploma course in the training institute. 

“With the help of our instructor, Mr. Richard Pazo, whose dedication and teaching style made our learning fun and full of new insights, our understanding on this field has definitely made us correct the practices we thought were right and apply new knowledge with confidence,” she added.